GIVING TUESDAY: Battleship Cove needs donations now more than ever

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) – On Giving Tuesday, the global movement to do good, a local tourist spot is asking for donations.

Battleship Cove, the floating museum under the Braga Bridge in Fall River, has been welcoming in tourists, clubs, and school children since 1965. But lately, it’s been seeing a decline in visitors, which is bad news for the destination that operates as a non-profit.

The maritime museum relies on ticket sales to fund their operating costs and the maintenance of the battleships.

“We get no funding support from the state or federal government so we’re self-supporting.”

Brad Lima, Chief Operating Officer of Battleship Cove, said the winter is the toughest time of year for them. But even in the warmer months, they’ve seen fewer and fewer people boarding the ships to take the self-guided tours, and membership has fallen from over 3,000 members to less than 500.

“We’re looking at a declining interest in maritime history,” said Lima.

Battleship Cove has four battleships in the water, and two ships located indoors. The site also has a gift shop and operates a nearby carousel. 

They need donations to pay their employees, make repairs to the battleships, and for fuel to keep the ships warm for visitors.

“We have four ships averaging about 75 years old each. They say the definition of a ship is a big hole in the water which requires large sums of money, and that’s definitely true here,” said Lima.

Lima said he hopes the community won’t just donate but will also remember that the battleships are there and stop in for a tour.

“There’s a part of history that you can maybe feel a little part of as a result of walking the decks, the same decks that people were walking in World War II. It’s important for us to pass on to future generations the maritime heritage that this stands for.”

Click here to donate to Battleship Cove.

© WLNE-TV 2019